Submitted by Tami Rougeau, Team Easyboot 2012 Member
With all the talk about colored boots lately I thought I would share a story as well as my own thoughts on the topic. I was a solid red boot fan back in the day. In fact I was so bummed when they quit making them I went in search of any I could find and stocked up, convinced that there would be nothing better if it were not in color. A few years and hundreds of miles later I would not trade a Red Easyboot for a Glove for any amount of money. My red boot collection has slowly but surely made its way into my trail buddies tackroom. She still swears by these tried and true boots but I know I will get her into Gloves as soon as the collection runs out.
One of the things folks seem to like best about the red boots is that "they are so easy to find when they come off". I beg to differ. In fact just this year, while out checking trail my friend lost a boot. Drat! We looked for it a bit then decided to just go on. Over the course of the next three months I traveled this same trail no less than a dozen times with various trail partners, all of us on the look out for the lost red boot. I had finally resolved that said boot had been toted off by animals or something as it was no where to be found. Then one day, riding along the same trail, there was the boot - smack in the middle of the trail no less! Over the years many a red boot has been lost to the trail. So, easy to find? I think not, perhaps easier but not necessarily easy.
My other counter to this discussion would have to be a statement of the obvious - Gloves are much less apt to come off if they are fitted properly. The same can also be said for the Epic and now the new Back Country (which I think will be my recommendation to my trail riding buddies). So if you are not having to constantly look for boots it just does not matter.
Another frequent comment about having colored boots is that you can easily see them while the horse is moving so you know if you lost one. I have experimented with various ways to identify my boots. Spray paint works OK but some colors just don't really show up after you paint over black. The Power Straps come in loads of great colors and are a great way to make your boots mroe visible. My friend Lucy uses yellow (color coordinated with the rest of her tack) and that really shows up well. Very easy to glance down and "boot check". I don't use power straps (or rather didn't but that is another blog) so not realy an option for me.
But this year for Christmas a good friend gave me a few rolls of colored Mueller tape, purple of course as Miss Fancy is very fashion conscious. I used the purple tape a couple weeks ago at the Nevada Derby ride and was amazed at how well it showed up. It really made the V in the boot stand out.
At the Nevada Derby ride this year the winds were fierce. So I duck taped the vents in my helmet.
Duck tape will also work and it comes in all sorts of cool colors and patterns, even tie dye! I suppose if you are really creative you could even sew colored ribbon onto the velcro strap of the gaitor. Talk about lots of choices with that option.
So do I wish that boots came in colors? Not really. In the end it would probably end up costing more money to produce them and that cost would have to be passed on to me (which would mean less to spend on fun inexpensive things like tape). Plus, what colors would they come in to be sure to satisfy everyone? Furthermore, for those with a bit of fashion sense, who like to color coordinate their tack, they would have to have different colors for every horse. No ability to mix and match - a definite Glamor Don't! Oh yes, colored boots would result in far too much cost all the way around.
Photo by Bill Gore.
In the end, I still love the Glove and lets face it, black is always in and very classy! So black Gloves for me and I will dress them up as I see fit all on my own.